Book Review | KHWAB SHEESHE KA | Iffat Sehar Tahir

Let’s dive in.

Characters

First Generation

Agha Jaan

Senior Afandi

Mubeen Afandi

Agha Jaan’s first-born

Suhail Afandi

Agha Jaan’s second-born

Waqar Afandi

The rebel who marries a courtesan Zarnigaah

Zarnigaah aka Zari

Waqar’s wife. After Waqar, she gets ill and is hospitalized

Faraan Afandi

The good brother

Samra

Faran’s wife

Tai Jaan

Saira Chachi

Sohail’s wife

Ammi Jaan

Second Generation

Malaika

Mubeen’s first daughter

Mehrmaah or Mehru

Our heroine. She in engaged to Talal but later Taz’een sort of steals him from her. Fret not, she will find someone better.

Malaha

Second lead – she also has a romance track, with their driver Kabeer, no less.

Taz’een

Saira’s daughter

Farzeen

Saira’s daughter

Numair Afridi

Waqar’s son

Mohid Afridi

Faraan and Samra’s son

Kabeer

Malaha’s love interest

Plot Summary

The Highlights (*** SPOLIERS AHEAD ***)

Agha ji is the typical man heading a family where patriarchy runs deep in their blood. He has four sons. One of them, Waqar, marries out of their family, inviting family’s wrath. He dies, his wife and son Numair are kicked out of the house.

There are good samaritans –  Mohid’s parents, who help Zarnigaah.

Mohid and Samra come back to the haveli to get what is rightfully theirs and thus begins the bizzarest story ever written.

Mehru is kidnapped by Numair and forced to marry him. She hates her first Nakeh – Numair, who is also her cousin.

Then, her family thinks that the best way to undo it is to marry her to her cousin Mohid. She loves this one.

Nikaah pe nikaah, how inappropriate and crazy that is.

Talal refuses to marry her and marries Taz’een instead, though his heart is still with Mehru. Taz’een isn’t happy about the whole situation.

Gradually, Mohid wins Agha jaan’s heart and takes complete control of the business. Then, he starts to show his true colours. With each page, we see another twist to throw the reader off balance, and not in a good way. I never felt like “wow, what a surprise!”. It was more like “what the hell is that?”

Thankfully, it has a happily ever after.

Review

A big family, one patriarchal system, a lot of evil deeds done by each of the character and a story filled with bizzare, unnecessary and unfathomable cliffhangers, Khwab Sheeshe Ka disappoints on various levels.

This novel has the most bizzarly twisted plot I have ever read.

I understand the need to keep readers’ interest when the story is being published in digest. I totally love cliffhangers. But, there is a way to do it. There should be a roaring climax after the cliff hanger to let the reader engaged and invested in the story. This story didn’t do it. There was a predictable series of events that moved in a circle.

  1. Who is Numair?
  2. Mohid and Mehru’s incessant banter (which is supposedly romantic)
  3. The heroine – Mehrmaah or Mehru for short, is married twice – AT THE SAME TIME – can you believe that?

Numair forces Mehru to meet him several times. Doesn’t she see the truth? Why  does she not tell anyone? And, she hates Numair.

Back home, there are cozy moments between her and Mohid. How can she love the same man she claims to hate – just because his identity has changed? Behen, he’s the same man.

It would have been a lot better if the same plot was not repeated a million times, if there were less cliff hangers, and if the length was reduced.

To be honest, I like Kabeer’s track better than the lead pair.

After unnecessarily long episodes that talk about just the same over and over again, it is revealed both of them are same. It was Numair who played Mohid’s role all along. Ya, right.

 

It started off really strong but then it dragged. This is purely my opinion about the story. If your opinion is different, don’t be offended. We all must be entitled to our opinions.

Shabana Mukhtar

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